The Greater Red Bank Green has its share of long-running rites of spring, and gatekeeper events to summer’s threshold, but none sweeter than the annual Strawberry Festival, the 2017 edition of which returns right on schedule to the Presbyterian Church at Shrewsbury for a morning and afternoon of family-friendly activities, foodstuffs and fundraiser shopping this Saturday.
Although it plays a prominent role in the lives of many area residents, the Sunnyside Equestrian Center has to be ranked among the “best kept secrets” of the greater Red Bank Green.
But this Saturday morning, the general public is invited to come out to 628 Middletown-Lincroft Road for a free special event in which some special riders showcase their skills on the trails (and, in the process, make the Monmouth County Park System facility ready for its close-up).
The setting was the Collins Arena on the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College, as The Ranney School Class of 2017 celebrated its commencement on May 25.
The Tinton Falls-based school graduated 82 seniors, of which 31 were known as “Ranney Lifers,” or students who had attended the school for 10 or more years. Next fall, the entire group will head off to attend some of the most prestigious colleges and universities across the country, including Columbia, Cornell, Vanderbilt, Georgetown, and Notre Dame, where they will pursue their individual passions and interests in fields ranging from the visual arts and theatrical production to finance, law, and medicine to robotics and information technology.
Phoenix Productions exec director Tom Martini — pictured fifth from left, during the 2015 ribbon-cutting of the troupe’s new Chestnut Street headquarters — was honored with the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award during the 12th annual Basie Awards on Wednesday night. (photo by Rich Kowalski)
Students and faculty from five high schools in the greater Red Bank area were honored for excellence in high school theater productions — and the co-founder of a favorite borough-based performing arts company received a Lifetime Achievement recognition — when the 12th annual Basie Awards ceremony took place at the Count Basie Theatre on the evening of May 24.
The big winner among local schools was Red Bank Catholic High School, whose nine nominations for the spring production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Cinderella resulted in three Basie wins: for Shawn Mack (Outstanding Musical Direction), Samantha Siriani (Outstanding Supporting Actress), and Kelly Gemellaro (Outstanding Choreography, shared with Jacqui Fisher for the Middletown High School South staging of The Producers).
The Creative Writing majors at Red Bank Regional High School recently learned that they earned 62 regional and one national award in the prestigious 2017 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, an annual competition sponsored by the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Over 330,000 works were submitted by students from around the United States, of which 2,500 received awards from the Alliance.
Senior Kyle Eber of Bradley Beach earned a National Silver Award for 2017, the second year in a row in which he has taken this honor. Kyle will continue his study of creative writing at Emerson College in Boston next year.
Joyful voices rang throughout the commons. Melodic tunes from the band carried down the hall from the auditorium. From outside on the fields came the sound of dramatic sketches, and from the parents came oohing and ahhing of admiration, as children excitedly pointed out their projects that decorated the walls of the school.
On May 18, over 600 parents, students and teachers experienced the infectious passion of The Second Annual RCDS Arts Festival at The Rumson Country Day School.
On May 15, just prior to the school’s graduation ceremony, seniors in the Senior Scholars Program at Christian Brothers Academy presented their research as part of the second annual CBA Scholars Colloquium.
The evening featured four presentations, held in the Henderson Theatre, during which members showcased an incredible degree of dedicated research, experimentation, and practical findings. Each senior provided a 30-minute presentation of their topic, led question-and-answer session, and explained their plans for continued study. Senior Manny Lazarro served as master of ceremonies for the event.
Middletown teens entering grades 6 to 12 are invited to take part in the Teen Summer Reading Program at Middletown Township Public Library, presented this year under the theme Build a Better World.
From June 26 through August 18, the library is challenging middle and high school students of Middletown to read five books over the summer, with a prize awarded for every book read. Prizes include Applebees Ice Cream Sundae certificates, Chipotle meal certificates, Hole-in-One Golf gift certificates and SkyZone Jump Passes, as well as free books.
On Thursday, May 18, Christian Brothers Academy celebrated the 55th graduation exercises inside the Collins Arena at Brookdale Community College.
CBA Principal R. Ross Fales began the ceremony recalling Bishop O’Connell’s message to the seniors at their Baccalaureate Liturgy: to remain men of integrity.
Of the 233 graduating seniors, 220 will be attending four-year schools that rank among the best universities or colleges nationally or regionally in US News & World Report. Two-thirds of the Class of 2017 received merit-based scholarships, totaling $23,576,000.
The Class of 2017 included 27 members of the National Honor Society. This senior class completed over 23,600 community service hours—an average of 102 hours per graduate.
Special Education teacher Jen Dellett has been selected as Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Educator of the Year. The announcement was made on May 12 by RFH Principal Dr. Tracy Handerhan, joined by French Teacher Christine Berg, last year’s recipient of the annual honor.
Dellett has been teaching at RFH for ten years, where she started as an Inclusion teacher and then taught Resource English prior to her current assignment in the Multiply Disabled Program.
Press release from Rumson Country Day School
The buzz of eager children reverberated across the campus of The Rumson Country Day School last Friday, May 12, as RCDS lower school students gathered on the bleachers to welcome their friends from Red Bank Primary School. After a brief introduction, the Red Bank Eagles and RCDS Gators joined forces to create red and white teams for a friendly competitive field day hosted by RCDS and Horizons Student Enrichment Program.
With the help of dedicated 7th grade volunteers and staff, RCDS and Horizons opened their campus to their Red Bank neighbors, in an efforts to provide a fun experience for the students and to kick off Horizons’ Annual Giving Day, which took place on Wednesday, May 17.
The Northeastern University junior, now doing a beauty-industry internship in Manhattan, is one of six national semifinalists in a nail art competition sponsored by polish maker Essie.
Pictured left to right are the 2017 inductees for the RBR Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame: RBR teacher Cassandra Dorn; Red Bank Middle School Vice Principal James T. Pierson; Dr. Erin Curtis, Optometrist; Sergeant Joey Fields, Red Bank Police Department; Dr. Carol A. Penn, physician family medicine, and Ramona Johnson, special education teacher, Newark NJ public schools.
Press release from Red Bank Regional High School
On the morning of April 28, an annual highlight of spring took place once again at Red Bank Regional High School,when the BUC Backer Foundation inducted six RBR graduates into its Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.
State Senator Jennifer Beck, Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna, Red Bank Councilman Michael Whelan, Shrewsbury Mayor Donald Burden, and Little Silver Councilman Daniel O’Hern were among the friends, family members and community neighbors who gathered in the school’s theatre to celebrate the contributions of this year’s honorees. The inductees were introduced by the RBR Buccaneer Newspaper students, who wrote bios on the alumni for a commemorative journal, and musical accompaniment was provided by the piano majors of RBR’s Visual and Performing Arts Academy. The festivities continued with a celebratory luncheon catered by the RBR culinary students.
Press release from Monmouth Civic Chorus
Students from Red Bank Regional High School and Middletown High School North were among the vocally talented New Jersey high school seniors awarded a total of $3000, as part of The Monmouth Civic Chorus scholarship program for 2017. The awards will be presented on June 2 during the “Northern Lights” Chorus concert at St. Mary Church, located at 1 Phalanx Road in Colts Neck.
A $1000 first-place award went to RBR student Ashleigh Dannielle Wolf; a member of the school’s Concert and Chamber choirs, as well as the New Jersey All State Treble and Mixed Choirs, the All State Opera Chorus, and the New Jersey All Shore Chorus, whose scholarship she also won in 2017. A resident of Freehold, Ashleigh plans to attend the Eastman School of Music.
A $700 award went to MHSN student Richard Cardile, who has performed with the school’s Concert and Chamber choirs, as well as the High School North singing group Acapella. A member of the New Jersey All Shore Chorus, New Jersey All State Mixed Chorus and the Middletown Assembly of God Church Choir, Richard plans to attend Montclair State University.
Press release from Red Bank Regional High School
The talented photography majors of the Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Red Bank Regional High School will hold their senior photo show at the Canvas Art Studio, located at 126 East River Road in Rumson.
The public is invited to the welcome reception on Thursday, May 18 from 5:30 to 8 p.m., with the images remaining on display from May 19 through May 22.
It was the 1960s when a police chief visited Darryl Breckenridge’s home to offer Darryl’s mother a job. During the visit, the chief placed his hat on young Darryl’s head. It was this moment that inspired Darryl to become a police officer.
Fast forward to the 1980s, when Darryl was driving through Asbury Park to get a haircut and he saw the red and blue flash of police lights in his rearview mirror. That night he was pulled over by police because of his skin color.
Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School
Nikolas Swidryk, a junior at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, has “hit the mark” as a recurve archer, and is now closer to his dream of Olympic glory.
The 17-year-old son of Michelle and Dr. John Swidryk of Fair Haven is one of just 18 male athletes selected for the 2017 Junior Dream Team, consisting of the top cadet and junior Olympic recurve archers in the country.
Pictured (left to right) with their Piano teacher Camille Thompson are several of the piano majors performing at Red Bank Regional’s celebratory concert on May 24: Anna Cuozzo, Jacqueline Conforti, Pieter Lootsma, Elijah Nishiura, and Griffin Perry. Playing the piano is Andrew Hall.
Press release from Red Bank Regional High School
On the evening of Wednesday, May 24, the piano majors of the Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Red Bank Regional High School invite the public to a special Piano and Harp Concert at the high school on Ridge Road in Little Silver. Scheduled for 7 p.m., the event celebrates the 25th anniversary of the high school’s piano program, and showcases ten piano majors in performances of pieces from such classical masters as Chopin, Beethoven and Bach.
The student performers include piano majors Evan Bardinas (Bradley Beach), William Casey (Red Bank), Jacqueline Conforti (Millstone), Anna Cuozzo (Little Silver), Andrew Hall (Little Silver), Pieter Lootsma (Little Silver), Elijah Nishiura (Red Bank), Griffin Perry (Little Silver), Salvatore Valente (Atlantic Highlands), and Jalen Willis (Neptune City).
In addition, a Harp Ensemble including Alona Gerdes (Bradley Beach), Edith Hernandez (Red Bank), Charlotte Jansky (Little Silver), Adeline Monfil (Red Bank), and Edith Torres (Union Beach) will play ensemble pieces “Allegro” by Suzuki and “Rondeau” by Mouret.
What’s special about growing up in Little Silver? A Red Bank Regional senior’s essay on that theme earned him $1,000 toward college expenses Monday night.
Following a successful 2016 inaugural event that collected more than $50,000 for Habitat for Humanity in Monmouth County, the nonprofit’s food and wine tasting fundraiser “A Taste for Homes” returns to The Oyster Point Hotel on the evening of Monday, May 15.
Scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m., the event “will showcase local restaurants, wineries, coffee and dessert specialists and will include entertainment, a 50/50 raffle, gift auction and silent auction to celebrate the impact and difference that volunteers and companies can make to provide people in the community with a decent place to live.”
Press release from The Curchin Group
The accounting firm The Curchin Group has announced that they are now accepting essay submissions to determine the nonprofit beneficiaries of the 12th Annual Curchin Open, a nine-hole indoor miniature golf tournament.
On National Signing Day, May 4, three student athletes at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School signed their letters of commitment to participate in NCAA athletics next fall, as thier proud coaches and families looked on. Pictured left to right are Carson Greengrove (Soccer, Stevens Institute of Technology), sprinter Grace Hofferber (Track and Field, Wake Forest University), and pole vaulter Doug Young (Track and Field, Boston University).